Your commitment to fighting heart disease in women
is commendable. Why did you choose tobecome involved
in women's heart issues?
JS: Once I found out what the statistics are on women
and heart disease, I had to become involved. Heart disease
is the number-one killer of women. In 2002, 51% of the
deaths from this disease were women. I was also astounded
to learn that more than six times as many women die from
heart disease than from breast cancer each year, even
though breast cancer gets most of the publicity. As a
woman, daughter, sister, and mother of two girls, I realized
how this issue could easily touch my own life. Getting
involved was the next logical step.
us about The Heart Truth' and
what it does to educate women
about heart disease.
JS: The Heart Truth is a public awareness campaign by
the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which
is part of the National Institutes of Health. The campaign's
goal is to reduce the level of misunderstanding among
women about what causes heart disease. For example, a
recent survey found that many people believe as much
as 50% of heart disease occurs in persons who don't have
any of the traditional risk factors for it, such as cigarette
smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol,
obesity, physical inactivity, and diabetes. In fact,
95% of those who die from heart disease have at least
one risk factor.
One of the main awarenessbuilding measures of this campaign
is using the red dress as a symbol, along with the slogan, "heart
disease doesn't care what you wear." On National
Wear Red Day, held the first Friday of February each
year, women and men across the country unite to give
women an urgent wakeup call about their risk of heart
disease. As a corporate partner of The Heart Truth, the
California Pistachio Commission has been promoting these
goals by providing consumers with facts about eating
well. They also approached me last year to do a campaign
to raise the awareness of heart disease among women.
So far I have done four paintings that were lithographed
on note cards and sold to raise money for woman's heart
health education. The paintings include Red Tulips in
a Clear Vase, Woman in a Red Dress, Portrait of a Red
Rose, and Self-Portrait in Red.
a great match for me, since I love to paint and wanted
to make a personal contribution. Next year, I plan to
paint more card designs for the commission.